A New Fireworks Community Website Just Announced

Written by Harry Gilliam

Topics: Uncategorized

I just received an email from Ned Gorski that his new website is now up and running.

And indeed I was able to go onto the site just now, and join.  $40 buys a one year subscription. And Ned wrote back that I was member number 100.

Ned has been working on this site for many months now.  I have absolutely no doubt that within a relatively short time, it will prove to be the most important information and community resource in the world for people who are serious about making fireworks.

Fireworks making, or “fireworking” as Ned’s new is called, has never had a website as well equipped as this one promises to be.

Early on, we had the PML, the Pyrotechnic Mailing List, and it served the fireworking community well during the early years of the internet.

Although other fireworks info sites have sprung up since that time, largely eclipsing the PML, I believe that this new “3rd generation” site of Ned’s will prove to be the richest resource so far for fireworks makers.  Here’s why:

Currently there is no fireworks writer in the world that I know of who is doing better
work.  That’s because Ned is actually an unusual combination of a very good writer, an excellent teacher who understands his readers, and an award-winning, highly accomplished fireworks maker himself.  You simply don’t find all of those skills in very many people.

I’ve known Ned and worked closely with him for a long time.  Ned’s projects on how to make fireworks are well known among Skylighter customers, and I personally think his creation of our Turbo Pyro course has resulted in more new fireworks makers becoming successful than anything else written in the past 25 years. I am biased, of course, but that opinion is based upon input from fireworkers who have bought nearly 2,000 Turbo Pyro courses and kits.  This would never have happened without Ned Gorski.

I urge anyone who has even a passing interest in fireworks making to subscribe to Ned’s website right now.  Ned has
committed himself completely to this new venture. And in my opinion he is giving away his membership, at a measly $40.  Per YEAR!  Not month!

Give yourself an early Christmas present.

Check out and join right now.

–Harry Gilliam
–Chief Cook & Bottlewasher

42 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Jeff Wilson says:

    Hello Ned, Well, I’m getting closer to shelling out the $40. I did have one question though. Will you be answering specific questions from people; like…what is strontium carbonate used for? Can rocket tooling be made out of hardwood as opposed to metal. It seems as if no matter how many books I read of how much I scan the internet I still manage to not find an answer to some questions I come up with.


    • ned says:

      Hi, Jeff.
      Absolutely, Many pyros, advanced folks and newcomers alike, answer and ask questions all day long, tossing around traditional techniques, and new creative ones. There are currently 360 subscribers, 1034 threads in the Forum, with almost 16,000 individual posts on just the sorts of subjects your bring up.
      I, and others, are adding more and more article in that archive all the time, and I’m really pleased with the way the site is shaping up.
      You’d be welcome any time.

      • Hey, Jeff,
        Just last night one of my customers who happens to live nearby came by the warehouse and we were chewing the fat about an upcoming Mid-Atlantic pyro club meet. A year ago he had literally never made any fireworks whatsoever. Today he is building mostly aerial shells, almost none of them smaller than 8 inches! He told me that he owes a great deal of his success to the access he has on Ned’s site to the incredible collection of generous fireworker brains who live there. And Ned is by no means the only highly accomplished fireworks man there. My friend was positively gushing about everything he is learning there every day, and how much he is looking forward to meeting many of the members at the PGI Convention in August. I’d be happy to put you in touch with him if you’d like to hear from a civilian, rather than some hucksters like me or Ned.

        • Jeff Wilson says:

          Hello Ned and Harry, Just thought I would let you know that I have prob picked up more info from Harry’s website than anywhere else.

          • ned says:

            Hi….My name is ned….and I have a “slight problem”….
            Yeay, Jeff, Harry was more than happy, way back when, to assist me in developing my “addiction”…
            I’m more than happy to carry on the tradition, by serving fellow addicts in Fireworking.

  2. jeff wilson says:

    Your right Blomber ! How could I have missed that! All kidding aside good luck with the website Ned; it looks like a winner.

    Jeff W.

    • ned says:

      Thanks, Jeff. I’m pleased with the way it has shaped up, and continues to grow with fine input from many serious fireworkers.
      Nope, no kids in bare feet pounding sugar-rockets on a concrete slab.
      Yes, serious fireworking with cylinder single and multi-breaks, and in-depth discussions of all the little details.

  3. Dylan, Lam. Pyrotechnics says:

    I feel tempted, but I will hold off right now, like with James, money is hard right now. I will DEFINITELY do this, Ned, after the holidays, you’re a very helpful and generous guy and I honestly think you deserve more than only 1000 subscribers for the first year. Maybe if there was some way to advertise the new website on on Amateur Pyro Forum and PyroGuide forum, places like that with constant visitors who I’m sure as hell know you, it seems a lot of people have used the tutorials by you on Skylighter for advice to beginners, so I’m sure you will get traffic from those places.

  4. Ned sent me this in an email yesterday, and I think it needs to be immortalized. What I get from Ned is not only information, methods, and techniques, but collected wisdom of somebody who does far more fireworking than I will.

    “I will caution you. One of my favorite sayings is “we don’t do these things because they are easy. We do them because they are hard.” Until I do a [fireworks] process a half dozen times, or make a device 10 times, I don’t really work the bugs out of it, and setbacks will plague me. You will have successes… and setbacks. Test stuff Before you make a Bunch of it, to be used for entertaining Thousands. I’ve left many shoots dejected, wondering “Well, why the heck did that do That??” These {Turbo Pyro] simple projects and devices are geared to quick learning and success, but variables and personal shortcuts can creep in, and set us back until we learn from them.” {from Ned Gorski in an email 12/2/2012]

  5. Beau says:

    $40? If I had to put a price tag on all the stuff Ned has ALREADY taught me, through his tutorials, over the years – That ALONE would be a bargain! Looking forward to cutting out a measly $4/month from my expenditures in order to join. Quality info at a bargain. Thanks for all your hard work.

  6. Hi Ned and Harry,

    I do not believe that we have met formally, but I was a member of PGI and WPA for several years….(before the Great Divorce).

    I am the proud owner of Turbo Pyro and I bought every kit and built it too. I did not get to the Girandollas (sp.), but I have a limited space to play out here, where my neighbors are all FBI, NSA, SS, and the likes.

    I even made my own pine charcoal in two paint cans and it worked to a “T”.

    I used to be on PML in the old days. I rooted out a couple of Feds in that list too!

    I just wanted to say that Pyro has been one of the few sports/hobbies that I HAVE been able to afford. Your instructions and videos are excellent. Your tool prep lists are excellent. No other site compares. I spend about every bit of my fun money on pyro and camping goods. Just bought a BBQ piezo plunger to hit the home-made squibs at quite a distance. No battery necessary!

    I will be signing up for your page to support you, if for no other reason. Without people like you two, there are no Fireworks for the little guy. I have not shot a professional show in 7 years, since I moved out of CA, Pyrospectacular territory, where I worked with 5 different licensed operators. Your ideas and kits are all I have left of that and they do just fine by me.

    Thanks for keeping on and for your efforts!

    I might suggest to you a short read. It seems to me that you are taking a hit from people who expect something for nothing. I am here to tell you that they, too, can be accommodated. In the majority of on-line services, 5% of the subscribership pays for the 95% who want the “free version”. The business model works, too, but you need a third party payor.

    Read “FREE, by Chris Anderson 2010.

    I will be signing up in December.


    • ned says:

      Thanks for the info, and tales, Glenn.
      I do enjoy the simple aspects of this art, too.
      I just uploaded complete info on TLUD charcoal cooking in one-gallon and five-gallon cans, a method which uses no external heat source. The charcoal wood cooks itself. It’s the coolest…hottest charcoal cooking method around. And the cans don’t get overheated and damaged in the process.
      See ya in December… (I guess it’s just around the corner now, isn’t it.. time is flying.)

  7. Akamas says:

    I look forward to you’re site, I will be subscribing as soon as I finish the Christmas shopping craziness. I wish you the best of luck and hop all goes well for you. I am by no means rich but I do appreciate all the tips and instructions that you have given in the past and look forward to more to come.

    For those that are arguing about the cost, how many of you pay $50+ dollars a month for a bunch of TV channels you never watch? How much is your monthly cell phone bill? How much do you spend eating out?

    We pay for all of these things because we think they are essential but many of us can easily have that money if we just didn’t go and eat-out several times a month.

    I’m sorry for those who are on an even tighter budget then mine, but complaining about how someone has choosen to make their hobby sustainable isn’t the best course of action.

    • …$3.33 per month. Cut out a Quarter Pounder at Micky D’s a month and you suddenly have enough money. Is that $3.33 price REALLY the objection? Or might it be something else?


  8. dave caulkins says:

    My only income is Social Security, and although I have great respect for Ned G I really can’t do $40. Maybe he could do some sort of by-the-project pricing, or some other method for lowering the expense.

    Dave C

  9. ned says:

    James Greene says:

    November 27, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Whats up with all u big whigg people trying to make a buck off us little guys just doing this for fun? $40 bucks…seriously? And I had thought passfire was the only greedy sons of blanks in this field. Looks like pyroguide (even with its small bit of basic information) will be the only pyro site I will be going to for my “basic” (free) needs.

    What happened for doing this for the love of the “sport”? Ur like a NFL football player making 20 million a year, and complaining about not getting paid enough money. ffs..whats wrong with u guys? U guys competing and getting in with “big oil”??
    G’morn, James.
    First of all, there are not a bunch of “big whig people” behind the new resource, just Me, trying to do what I definitely “love about the sport”, and trying to support myself in the process.
    I have taken on a Big job with this project, one I can imagine taking years to really flesh out. I am very grateful for the support I have received so far, and continue to receive, and I fully intend that those supporters get real benefits in return.
    I am currently working about 80 hours a week, getting the site set up, and loading content into it, one week at a time: doing the R&D to get fireworking processes really “down”, and then working up tutorials on those processes, ones which I get great feedback on. “Man, ned, you really made me feel like I Could Do that project.”
    That is all very gratifying to me, and it is way more than a fulltime job, fulfilling those promises and expectations.
    So,,80 hours a week,,for 50 weeks this year (I hope to take two weeks off and relax at the PGI convention, etc.), adds up to about 4000 hours this year.
    Each subscriber, at 40 bucks for that year, is paying 4000 cents for that year, or one cent for each hour I’m putting in on the project.
    If I manage to succeed in getting 500 subscribers this first year, that’s 500 people each contributing a cent to my individual hour’s work, or $5 an hour wages.
    Let’s say my wildest dreams come true, and I manage to attract 1000 subscribers this first year. I’ll be earning $10 per hour for my work.
    Well, that’s about minimum wage, or a tad better, right?
    Obviously, I’m not in this to get rich. I don’t know what you do for a living, but I hope you are enjoying your work as much as I enjoy mine..and I hope you are making more than 5-10 bucks an hour.
    If you fix cars, I wouldn’t complain that you were willing to fix mine, and do it well, for that wage.
    I hope that this explains my purposes, and situation a bit better for you. Fortunately, at 60, and with a great partner, Molly, I can afford to do what I love,now, and hope to be able to pay my bills in the process.
    If I can’t, well then I can go back to doing some remodeling again, which I had to give up 5 years ago, after 30 a year career, when my knees just gave out on me.
    Fortunately, I now have new Titanium knees. I joke that “I have the knees of a 10-month old” since I got them this past January.
    Please never forget that you are dealing with real people out here,,folks just like you,,doing their best,,trying to survive,,and engage in their Love of the Art.
    I hope that gives you a little insight into Me,,just a little guy doin’ the best he can.

    • James Greene says:

      Hi Ned and good morning to you as well.

      Look, I’m sorry I was a lil harsh in my earlier post. I guess it was fueled by the expectations children have on their fathers in getting them Christmas presents and “Santa” presents as well…and the failure that I feel as a father because I cant afford to do enough for them.

      Money is EXTREMELY tight this year, and has been the last 2-3 years. I have 4 children. 3 boys and a girl. Their ages are 6,12,15,& 17. U know how much food those 4 eat a month?? lol. And the eldest is my son who eats like a freaking horse!

      I know your very good at what u do & I believe your worth every penny, and there was a time when I’d see $40 and laugh and say that’s all he wants? And jump on it. But now times are different…very different.

      I had it stuck in my mind that a great guru of pyro like yourself was busy year round selling fireworks and doing shows for cities getting paid big, big , big bucks. Is this not true?

      Ned, if I could afford the $40 I’d have no problems giving it to you because I’ve seen all the tutorials u put on skylighter’s website and I know u know your s**t.

      And also, I’d LOVE to be able to buy some chemicals to add some good bright colors, but a lot of that contains potassium perchlorate or some potassium chlorate, whistle mix, even flash booster for the shells I make to make the stars and to make the shell break better, but hell, u cant buy that stuff on first time orders or 2nd. I guess its to weed out potential terrorist? Hell if I know, but I’m an American, born and bread in Dallas Texas. Im no damned terrorist or bomb maker ffs. And its also a $30 min order times 2 before I can even buy the chemicals I need / want. Even then I might not get them because they are chemicals that CAN be used for mischievousness. And I might be banned from ordering because of the software used to get m80 makers says i’m a bomb maker. Craziness!

      I’m not a die hard firework making amateur or pro. Im not even an amateur really. I just love science and love seeing my kids, neighbors and friends faces and jaws drop when they see the orange tigertail’s explode in the air, or mines or roman candles..or rockets.. and find out that I made them all myself…from home…from scratch. :D That’s really why I do it….to impress my kids, family, friends and neighbors.

      Again, my apologies for the tome of my last post Ned. U wanted to know what I did for a living and said u hoped I made more than min wage…so I’ll tell you what I do for a living. I have to resort to cutting lawns and doing the craigslist reselling crap from the free section..fixing it up and then selling it cause I’m a X felon of 12 yrs ago. I made a terrible mistake in my early 20′s and I pay for it every day since. I cant get a decent job cause of it and I’m VERY intelligent. Its a waste of my talents and ability really.

      I’m not trying to sell a sad poor me story to you Ned, but I’m really stuck between a rock and a hard spot financially. I have NO problem supporting your work and giving feedback and such, but I just can’t do the $40..not now…especially at Christmas time and I really don’t know if I ever will be able to afford skylighter’s chemicals / tooling or your pyro website anytime soon.

      James Greene

      • ned says:

        Hey, James,,no harm,,no foul.
        If we can’t be tolerant of each other in this community, who can we be tolerant with?
        Nope, no professional displays/manufacturing for me now. Just work on the new site.
        Although, I was pleased to have a little product in this year’s Rozzi Cincinnati Riverfest: Cincinnati-Bell-Logo pattern shells, and a bunch of gold-glitter mines.
        Don’t despair,,much pyro fun can be had with simple chems and supplies: KNO3, charcoal (which you can make yourself), sulfur, dextrin, maybe some atomized aluminum (and bright flake 325-mesh for slow flash booster, KNO3 based), some paper, tubes, string,,a little fuse. You and your kids can have a ball for years.
        I understand the hard times, and there is plenty of good, free info on Skylighter if you look hard to find it.
        It sounds like you surely know the feeling of entertaining folks with this art. You can find legit ways of doing that, I’m sure.
        We all make mistakes, but it sounds like you’ve learned from yours,,and are doing well now. I know there are ex-cons who own businesses, and love helping folks like them out. Look hard, and if you are bright, the right opportunity will come along.
        Feed those kids..hug em..make some fountains along with them, and some day you’ll look back on these hard times, and will deserve a pat on the back for persevering through them.
        Good luck, and Enjoy.

  10. Francois Le Berre says:

    You guys are awesome, especially YOU Dr. T!

  11. steven frank says:

    yes, well $40 buck a bit rick in my book, why not make it free for first month for people to see if its worth it to them,then if site is as good as described well money will flow in.Kind regards Steven Frank.p.s was lead down the garden path by skylighter promising to teach me how to make basic fireworks in just ten day read thought all harrys emails for nine days and what do you know, pay money on last email and i will teach you, could of toll me in first email.

  12. L Enz says:

    Sorry to read about James’ dire situation that Obama put him in… damn that guy for screwing up James’ life.
    I will admit though that the price point of $40/yr is a bit stiff… maybe a limited access for $2 – $3/mo I dunno maybe I’ll hit the PowerBall… doh!

    • James Greene says:

      L Enz,

      Obama didnt put me in this situation, but he sure did put the economy in the place it is now, and the lower class citizens like myself feel the pressure of it more and more everyday.

      I put myself in this situation, butr I’m doing my damnedest to get myself out of it. And having to raise 4 children by yourself on a extremely low budget does make even a measly $40 bucks a BIG purchase to me. Cause to me, $40 is like buying a new 52 inch flat screen TV,…while to others $0 bucks is chump change. Know what I mean?

      But anyways, I like the Idea of an alternate full access on a per month basis. 5 bucks is most certainly more manageable than 40 to me.

      I doubt I’d be on there more than 20 times or so, but yea..great idea about an alternate by month pay scale.

      James Greene

      • James Greene says:

        Ugghhh.. no edit would be nice to have in this case. :D

        “Cause to me, $40 is like buying a new 52 inch flat screen TV,…while to others $0 bucks is chump change. Know what I mean?”

        Should have said>>>

        Cause to me, $40 is like buying a new 52 inch flat screen TV,…while to others $40 bucks is chump change. Know what I mean?

        $40 bucks, not $0

  13. Allen says:

    If you know how to search on the internet and you know how to read, you can find everything you need to make fireworks without paying a cent. A big part of this hobby is experimenting. I certainly do not want step by step instructions that tell me exactly what to do. I’ve been making my own rockets, aerial shells, black powder, my own tools, and all sorts of color stars – all from scratch. Sure it takes more time, but that’s the price of independence – and it’s more fun. I would never buy a “kit” of anything. Then again, that’s just me. It will certainly appeal to some folks

    • Jeff says:

      The problem with that “philosophy” is that there is simply too much bogus “fireworks instructions” on the internet written by people who do not know the first thing about real fireworks making. Unfortunately this hobby is loaded with people who do not know the first thing about it. Some people would like to have a copy of “The poor mans James Bond” but I personally think the best you could do with it would be to toss it in the wastecan. At the same time I do agree with you about making your own tools. The ones sold by pyro dealers are way overpriced to say the least. Just my 2 cents.

  14. sujono says:


    I am interested in fireworks rocket. What if the government Indramayu-Indonesia invites you to train how to make rockets wastling. for 3 days of training would you give, the need for and cost of accommodation and transport what we pay $. and some chemical samples were taken also turned away in total?
    How about this offering is pleasing
    thank you

  15. James Greene says:

    Whats up with all u big whigg people trying to make a buck off us little guys just doing this for fun? $40 bucks…seriously? And I had thought passfire was the only greedy sons of blanks in this field. Looks like pyroguide (even with its small bit of basic information) will be the only pyro site I will be going to for my “basic” (free) needs.

    What happened for doing this for the love of the “sport”? Ur like a NFL football player making 20 million a year, and complaining about not getting paid enough money. ffs..whats wrong with u guys? U guys competing and getting in with “big oil”??

    I was actually looking forward to clicking on the link in the email that Harry sent me and “browsing” Neds site. But hell…cant even do that!!

    “PPS: I have no financial interest in Ned’s new venture. But you should. Please join his site and support him so that he can continue his contributions to you and me and our passion for making fireworks.”

    I cant join his site because I dont have 40 stupid bux to spend! I support him yes..but I just CANT financially. Not that I dont think he’s worth it, but Obama threw this country into a damn near depression. Hell, did u know that by the time I fill up my car on $3.50 a gallon liquid gold each week, that I still BARELY have enough money to scrape by just to freaking live? U think I’m lying, but in the past 2 yrs of being a skylighter subscriber…I haven’t even bought my first item from skylighter yet? Know why? Cause I got kids, and im about to be a single father. Seems like every year around Christmas that I think I got 50 bucks to blow on potassium nitrate or a black powder kit,..something comes up where uncle scrooge rears his ugly head at me and Im forced to spend that extra money I thought I had and short my kids something on Christmas.

    Im very disappointed in Harry and Ned both. 2 big oil tycoons squeezing the common man for all hes worth.

    I MIGHT make 5-10 HOMEMADE aerial shells a year for my kids and I to watch. ANd guess what? Their ALWAYS SOLID ORANGE. Like Tigertail..ALWAYS….no color. None at all cause I cant afford the damned chemicals. I make EVERY shell from scratch. Newspaper hemis, homemade glue, the fuse, the lift cup, the black powder, the lift powder, the shell break i make from grass seed…EVERYTHING. Why? Cause I cant afford all the facny materials to make it easier on myself..nor the tooling. All tooling is jerry rigged flat wood with some wooden dowel of a miscellaneous size affixed to it.

    Im sorry, but because of this…im going to withdraw my subscription from skylighter and anything pertaining to skylighter. And I doubt ill be missed since I have never spent a dime.

    I know this post will more than likely be deleted, and thats ok. I just wanted to vent my steam & tell you wig whiggs off and hopefully u read this far down (doubtful u did) and just know, that I’m not the only person on your site Harry that is pretty much FLAT BROKE and hasnt bought from u because they cant really afford to. There are some of us on here that wish they could…but can’t. We gather all the info we can…scourge your site and others for a shred of scraps…hoping to find something…anything…to help us out.

    Take care Harry & Ned. I believe yr worth the 40 bucks Ned and I believe ur worth the slightly overpriced chemicals and tooling too Harry…but Ill never be able to afford u guys cause I’m a father of 4 with a minimum wage job. Ill just have to stick with making the few plain Jane orange tigertail aerial shells that I make every year for the kids and myself, and u guys can keep on raking & rolling in the dough. Merry Christmas huh?

    James Greene

    • Dr. T says:

      James – I am making arrangements to sponsor a year’s access to Ned’s new web site for you. After one year you can then decide if it’s worth the $$ to renew yourself. Send a message to and we will work out the details.

      (I am in no way connected to Ned’s or Harry’s business ventures, but I have been in financial straits before and know what it’s like.)

      p.s. Happy Christmas.

      • James Greene says:

        Hello Dr. T. Nice to met you.

        I had written a lot in this reply and I hit submit, but I forgot to fill out the name and email so it all got lost when it jumped to the next page and told me I forgot to fill it out. :/

        What I had said was that I was taken agasp by your generosity and that I didn’t know how to respond. I feel that the words thank you are not quite adequate enough to express my feelings of joy and happiness for your most generous gesture. For that I am truly grateful to you Dr. T. Thank you very much. :) I have NEVER had a complete stranger offer such a gift. I think the most I ever got from a complete stranger was just a couple of bucks because I lost my bus ticket somehow to get back home and I was stuck downtown and couldn’t get home.

        I want to get to know you more Dr. T and if you’ll allow it, I’d also like to pay you back because I am a very prideful man. It is my strength and weakness Even if I have to pay you back little by little, if that’s what it takes.. then so be it.

        Again Dr. T thank you for your most generous offer. And merry Christmas to you and yours as well. I’m actually a little teary eyed. Its very comforting to know that people like yourself exist that are willing to help a fellow brother out when they can’t really help themselves at the time.

        Sincerly yours,

        James Greene
        Dallas Tx

        • Dr. T says:

          James – pay it forward


          • ned says:

            I Like it, Doc.
            So, what’s the plan here. How are we gettin’ James into the party?
            I’m flexible. Whatever sort of arrangements you guys want to come up with, I’ll make it work.
            Life is what we make it.

        • Dr. T says:

          James – Ned is waiting for your e-mail so we can arrange your membership. Contact him ASAP at

          • James Greene says:

            Apologies, I had to get the kids. I sent him an email, and in case he doesnt get it or it goes to his spam folder or whatnot. My email address is

            I don’t mind throwing my email addy out there like that cause I usually only get spam

            Thank you again Dr. T for your generosity. I look forward to seeing Neds new pyro site. Perhaps if I can’t pay it forward in cash or whatnot, perhaps I can pay it forward on his new site with feedback and some of my own pyro knowledge. Especially when it comes to making alternative construction materials and tooling VERY VERY cheaply…lol

            Thanks Doc, Your the best. I look forward to seeing you on his site.

            James Greene
            Dallas Tx

      • Jeff says:

        Hey Dr. T, If I write a really good sad sack letter will you pay my way too? Im really in financial straits and have an ex wife and 2 kids to feed.


      • Jeff says:

        Unbeleiveable! Someone writes a sad sack letter and then someone else who claims not to be associated with Ned says he will take care of the $40.00. Hey, that’s true of many of the people on here (being poor). Why don’t you pay our way too?

  16. ned says:

    Wow, Harry.
    Thanks so much for the glowing report on my new venture.
    I’m working hard on it every day, so that it lives up to, and exceeds the expectations of subscribers.

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